The 178th Manchester Derby this week sees one of the more unusual prefaces for the contest to occur in recent times between Manchester United and Manchester City.
Manchester City visit Old Trafford knowing any slip-up in this last sprint of the season will probably cost them their second successive title. Manchester United are desperate for a victory to keep their top four hopes alive and the lucrative Champions League spot that goes with it.
A win would damage Pep Guardiola’s side’s own ambitions and as a consequence this would allow United’s even fiercer rivals Liverpool passage to lift their first league title in almost three decades, and go within one of the Red Devils’ record haul.
Just one point currently separates the Merseyside club and the Cityzens in the very upper echelons of the Premier League table.
Thus the predicament for United; win and provide Liverpool a leg up, or welcome defeat in defiance, losing their third of the past four Manchester derbies and handing bragging rights to the Blues for the next few months?
What. A. Quandary!
To try and discern supporters’ emotions, The Sportsman visited the two respective grounds of Old Trafford and the Etihad ahead of matchday, where we played expletive bingo with the majority of responses to what has been described as a ‘disgustingly vile’ half-and-half shirt that combines the recognisable Red and Blue that defines the individual Manchester sides into a catastrophic coalescence.
The Sportsman then posed the inevitable question; How much would it take them to put on that top?
“Not enough money!” / “How many zeros can you add to the back of a cheque?”/ “I’d put it in the canal!” were a select bunch of the more diplomatic responses that saw both sides of the divide finally agree on something.
United are coming off the back of two consecutive defeats, and six in there last eight in all competitions, with the 3-1 concession to City back in November in Eastlands advancing the detonation that was the ticking time-bomb of Jose Mourinho’s tenure at the helm of the Red Devils. Manchester City meanwhile, have won every single one of their last ten league fixtures to keep the unrelenting pace with Liverpool for an ultimately agonizingly tight end to the season .
Watch the video below and see how The Sportsman got on in trying to flog this ‘messed-up’ shirt ahead of the Derby. Manchester United versus Manchester City kicks off on Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 20:00pm.